An intriguing historical film, demonstrating many expensive business machines found in modern offices of the era, including electromatic and Chinese typewriters and machines for filming, stenciling, folding and lithographing. Among the machines shown are Diebold's Flofilm microfiche recorder, the Fileomatic Desk, the Pierce Electronic Wire Recorder, the Soundscriber with plastic disk, the Elliott Stencil Machine with Graphotype machine, the Davidson Duplicator for litho printing, the Davidson Folder for letters, the Varityper, the Autotypist Perforator, the IBM Chinese character typewriter, and speed typist Stella Pajunas, using an IBM Model A Electric Typewriter, who set a one-hour typing speed record in 1946 of 140 net five-stroke words per minute. More on Pajunas at www-03.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/modelb/modelb_4509PH04.html For fans of the Chinese typewriter, that sequence runs from 12:35 to 13:59. Please contact us if you know the name or whereabouts of the young Chinese typist.
Reviewer:Wilford B. Wolf
November 8, 2010 Subject:
The handkerchief is hardly ruffled
A "teaching" film that chronicle some machines that were used in offices in the late 1940s, though it feels more like an advertising film. A few of them are real novelties, such as the Fileomatic desk, a desk that uses a conveyor belt to bring up files. Others were probably uncommon, such as the microfiche reader and the Auto-Typist, a gadget that could run mechanically three typewriters at a time for form letters.
Of personal interest are the dictating machines. The most common type was one that that used a wax cylinder and an electric microphone, but also show a wire recorder (this was just before magnetic plastic tape became available) and a disc based system that basically created acetates. The demonstration of a stenographer's machine, which was commonly used up until the 1980s, was also interesting.
A number of the machines dealt with the handling of form letters in the pre-computer era. The creation of metal stencils and small offset printers at this was a real advancement, though still far too expensive for most small businesses.
An interesting film if you are into the history of technology.
August 11, 2009 Subject:
A delight to re-witness Elliot and Davidson products. The Veri-Typer and Auto-Typist were remarkable feats of engineering and of special interest was the Chinese typewriter--a monster machine.
Of similar interest at the Internet Archive is this film...